Tuite full of hope as Surrey seeks to give Lambourn trainer valuable success
Irish Stallion Farms EBF "Nasrullah" Handicap (Premier Handicap) | 1m2f | 3yo+ | ATR
From Lambourn to Leopardstown and taking home the valuable prize is the story Joe Tuite would love to tell about Surrey Hope, who forms half of the trainer's mission to win two big handicap pots on Thursday.
Tuite, who in 2015 enjoyed the biggest success of his career when Litigant landed the Ebor, has his string in excellent heart, which can only boost his expectations as Surrey Hope and Kimifive go into battle in Ireland and England.
At Leopardstown, Surrey Hope is charged with denying the home team in the €100,000 Irish EBF Stallion Farms 'Nasrullah' Handicap, while at Newmarket Kimifive will attempt to complete a hat-trick in the £100,000 Bet365 Handicap.
Unlike Kimifive, Surrey Hope has not been in winning form of late, finishing 15th in the Royal Hunt Cup on his latest outing, but his trainer is positive despite being mindful of quality opposition in a contest that includes Ballydoyle's recent Curragh winner Lucius Tiberius, one of two three-year-olds in the 12-runner line-up.
"We're trying a mile and a quarter for the first time but we always felt we would at some stage," said Tuite. "He'll love the ground."
Billy Lee partners Surrey Hope, while Nicola Currie will be aboard Kimifive, about whom Tuite said: "He loves fast ground and has won his last two races very well. He's progressive and has improved again. I think he ticks all the boxes and goes there in superb form."
What the others say
Mick Halford, trainer Massif Central
He's well. It's his first run over this trip for us, even though he's run well over it before. He's been done no favours with the draw and has a big weight, so it's probably a big enough ask.
Kevin Prendergast, trainer Aared
He's in great form. He went up 8lb for winning half a length at the Curragh in May. He's come back down a couple since but still has it all to do.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Lucius Tiberius
He won well when we dropped him back in trip at the Curragh last time. We've been happy with him since, and a mile and a quarter seems to suit him well.
Colm O'Donoghue, rider of The King
The King is in great form. He was possibly a shade unlucky to get caught late at Navan, and he has a good draw here.
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